The Royal College of Physicians of Ireland has formally launched its Health and Wellbeing Department, an initiative created to aid Trainee and Trainer wellbeing within the College. Director of Health and Wellbeing at RCPI, Prof Gaye Cunnane, made the announcement at the Faculty of Occupational Medicine’s Autumn Conference which took place on 4 October 2019 at the College’s historic home at No.6 Kildare Street, Dublin.
On the launch of the Department Prof Cunnane said, “The Health and Wellbeing Department will provide support and referral pathways for Trainees who are struggling to meet the training requirements or reach the competencies required for reasons related to their health or overall performance. We want to be actively involved in early identification and prevention, the promotion of wellbeing, and strategic planning and collaboration within this area.”
She continued, “Our mission is to help doctors enhance their wellbeing and professional conduct throughout their working lives. We will do this by promoting better training practices and providing support for doctors who need it.”
In her presentation at the launch Prof Cunnane established the protocols in place to help Trainees in difficulty and outlined some of the symptoms which may indicate that a Trainee is struggling. She outlined the pathways for referral to the Department and identified promotion, prevention and education as key to the Department’s mission. A number of courses and workshops will be available to all Trainees, with some available to all physicians.
Prof Cunnane’s three year term as Director of Health and Wellbeing will focus on the set up of the service, its launch, the strategic direction, and the support of robust research which will underpin the activities of the department. The Health and Wellbeing Department was first established in 2018 and since it’s inception there have been 30 referrals to the Health and Wellbeing Department, these were made ahead of its official launch.
The Health and Wellbeing Department is available to trainees who are in difficulty. They can self-refer via the webpage (firstname.lastname@example.org) or be referred through their NSD/Trainer/RPD. The service provides a number of different pathways for trainees to access the appropriate support for them.
Visit www.rcpi.ie/physician-wellbeing for more details.